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Dev Biol. 1998 Aug 15;200(2):247-59.

Tetranectin is a novel marker for myogenesis during embryonic development, muscle regeneration, and muscle cell differentiation in vitro.

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Institute of Molecular Pathology, University of Copenhagen, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.


Tetranectin, a plasminogen-binding protein with a C-type lectin domain, is found in both serum and the extracellular matrix. In the present study we report that tetranectin is closely associated with myogenesis during embryonic development, skeletal muscle regeneration, and muscle cell differentiation in vitro. We find that tetranectin expression coincides with muscle differentiation and maturation in the second half of gestation and further that tetranectin is enriched at the myotendinous and myofascial junctions. The tetranectin immunostaining declines after birth and no immunostaining is observed in normal adult muscle. However, during skeletal muscle regeneration induced by the intramuscular injection of the myotoxic anesthetic Marcaine, myoblasts, myotubes, and the stumps of damaged myofibers exhibit intense tetranectin immunostaining. Tetranectin is also present in regenerating muscle cells in dystrophic mdx mice. Murine C2C12 myogenic cells and pluripotent embryonic stem cells can undergo muscle cell differentiation in vitro. Tetranectin is not expressed in the undifferentiated myogenic cells, but during the progression of muscle differentiation, tetranectin mRNA is induced, and both cytoplasmic and cell surface tetranectin immunostaining become apparent. Finally, we demonstrate that while tetranectin mRNA is translated to a similar degree in developing limbs and lung, the protein does not seem to be tissue associated in the lung as it is in the limbs. This indicates that in some tissues, such as the limbs, tetranectin may function locally, whereas in other tissues, such as the lung, tetranectin production may be destined for body fluids. In summary, these results suggest that tetranectin is a matricellular protein and plays a role in myogenesis.

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